So, you’ve managed to land a position that will give you experience in the restaurant industry. Congrats! Of course starting out, you’re not going to get rich on the salary, but at least you’re getting a start on your resume. So, how can you make a little extra cash, get some broader experience and perhaps develop related skills that will make you stand out? Something that will give you an edge, maybe even expand your career options? Pick up a side job that complements your skills and career goals; here are few ideas to get you started.

Social Media Marketing

Many restaurateurs don’t make the time or have the skill for social media marketing, but no one should underestimate its power in promoting a restaurant and growing a loyal clientele. People like the immediacy of a relationship that social media allows, and there is no better way to get into the food conversation, gain some recognition and stay in customers’ minds on a daily basis.

Do you have a camera and a computer? Develop some basic social media skills, and then offer a package to restaurant owners starting with the one for whom you work. A good starting package includes a manageable number of posts per week on popular social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also include others like Google+ and Yelp.

This kind of social media setup is easy to maintain.

There are several tools out there with which you can schedule posts in advance and post to multiple social media networks simultaneously. Good ones to check out are Hootsuite and IFTTT.

This kind of social media setup is easy to maintain. All you have to do is let the right people know how important it is for them to engage with social media and show them you have the skills to do it for them. Start your client search with the place you work now, and make them shine!


It’s a big deal in the content marketing world these days with 76% of U.S. businesses using it and 77% of those saying they will increase their content marketing in the coming year. Not everyone has writing skills or likes to write, but if you do, you’re in luck!

Help them connect to their customers in a personal and thoughtful way.

You can use your skill and familiarity with the industry to blog on behalf of restaurants in order to establish them in their industry and community and to keep them in the minds of their customers. Write for individual restaurant clients or operate your own restaurant blog library from which restaurant owners can draw for a fee. Help them connect to their customers in a personal and thoughtful way.

Promotional Models/Brand Ambassadors

Do you like to talk with people? Are you reliable, outgoing and energetic? As a brand ambassador, you’ll have an opportunity to really use and develop those people skills! Usually, brand ambassadors work through agencies that pair them up with companies needing representatives for their brand at an event. The agency provides training based on the company’s instructions.

A promotional model is a specialized version of a brand ambassador. Suppose a company requests all red heads 15-20 years old to represent them. If you fill the bill and are called up, you’ll probably make a little more money because you’re harder to find!

As either a brand ambassador or a promotional model, though, you’ll get to meet people and polish up your persuasion arts, always a good thing.

Develop some unique skills through side hustles that will make you indispensable.

So if you’re headed for the stars in the restaurant industry but need to make some extra money now, develop some unique skills through side hustles that will make you indispensable in your current environment right here on earth. And who knows? If things change, as they often do, you might just find another whole universe of stars in one of these side hustles. 

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